Pictured: Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, March 2019. Photo by Kimberly Rivers.
by Kimberly Rivers
Last month, Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, who is currently chair of the board, received an anonymous and unwelcome package at her home in Thousand Oaks. The cardboard box read, “Congratulations” on the outside, and inside a surprising item.
The box contained a chocolate penis, with the words “Eat a Dick” printed on the underside of the box’s lid.
“This is the level of gutter politics going on in this town,” said Parks. A note with the delivery read, “Enjoy your early retirement . . . You deserve it.” Parks takes that as a reference to the current effort to recall her from office.
Parks said she can’t say who sent the box “because it’s anonymous,” but she mentioned a Political Action Committee (PAC) called Move the Needle, which she believes is involved in the effort to recall her.
Move the Needle, according to forms filed at the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) is an “Unauthorized Super PAC” and was formed to “support/oppose more than one federal candidate.” Unauthorized refers to the fact that the committee is not authorized by any candidate’s campaign. Move the Needle has so far raised under $5000, and paid around $3000 to AT&T for phone service, and to two graphic design companies, according to information on OpenSecrets.com and the FEC.
Two flyers for recall petition events in April and May of this year list Move the Needle as the funding body.
Parks explained that the package arrived after a vote on a development issue and she mentioned an “irate developer.”
In her many years of public office, beginning in Thousand Oaks as city council member and a stint as mayor, Parks has experienced people unhappy with her votes or actions, and upset, but she said it has never risen to this “personal” level.
“It was delivered to my home,” she emphasized.
Recall moving ahead
The recall effort passed the first hurdle but the date is not yet set.
The websites associated with the recall effort list issues like the pandemic closures, the county’s actions against businesses that did not comply and the fact that Parks voted in support of those closures and legal actions. The votes in support of those actions were either 4 to 1 or unanimous. Other issues unrelated to the work of county supervisors listed as reasons for the recall effort include sex education being taught in schools. Parks points out that in her supervisor position, she has no role at all in what gets taught in schools.
The official committee for the effort to recall Supervisor Linda Parks is called Conejo Valley Cares – Recall Linda Parks. This committee, to date, has not received any contributions or support for their efforts from the Move the Needle committee, according to Karen Meyer, listed as a principal of Conejo Valley Cares. Meyer also said her organization has checked with all of their volunteers and none of them are responsible for the package Parks received.
Parks described the many endorsements she’s already received as atypical for a county supervisor election, saying it shows how out of left field the “right wing” recall effort is. Federal elected officials including Sen. Diane Feinstein and Alex Padilla along with Congresswoman Julia Brownley and Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Ventura County Professional Firefighters’ Association and Supervisors Matt LaVere, Bob Huber and Carmen Ramirez, among many others, have endorsed Parks in opposition of the recall effort.
Move the Needle lists Timothy McCarthy of Thousand Oaks as the director, with Patrick Knowd as treasurer and Jennifer McCarthy as assistant treasurer. McCarthy’s business, Oaks Security in Thousand Oaks, has contributed $1,250 to the PAC. Other contributors include Shawn Moradian, a restaurateur and land owner proposing development in the Thousand Oaks area, and Kevin McNamee, a doctor.
Portions of this online story have been modified from the print version.